Dear Mr. President,
It's been two years since Operation Cast Lead, since the Gaza war, since the brutal asymmetrical violence that left thousands dead, injured or homeless. This will likely be my last letter to you about Gaza, at least for 2010. I haven't heard any practical solutions for the people of Gaza from your administration, nor have I heard much in the way of insistence that Israel find an alternative to the utterly unlivable status quo. The peace talks that have now fallen apart, at their most ambitious, their most hopeful, did not include a framework for Gaza. The people of Gaza cannot continue living as they have been, they cannot be expected to raise yet another generation to call a prison camp home. Two years of endless stalemate haven't made Israel safer and they haven't made Gaza any more livable.
I wonder if you have asked yourself how this ends. How it will look when the war is finally over and the lines on the map are final. When every one has a flag and a seat at the UN. What will that entail? What will it look like, how will it be fair, what role will we play? Most importantly- how do we get there? If we already know these things, why aren't we doing it? It will be hard. People will be upset, compromise will not be easy. Friends and allies will be offended and alienated and you will be called any number of nasty names for your trouble. But it has to be done. Progress has to be made. The situation cannot stand.
Looking into 2011 and 2012, I know that re-election will overshadow any foreign policy goals that might not play well on FOX news. I wonder what you would do if no one were watching, if what they said didn't matter, if all the voices were silenced and you had only your own conscience to answer to. At some point, it isn't about the past, it isn't about politics, it isn't even about racism, it's just people; people killing, hurting, starving, oppressing other people and the people who look the other way and let it happen.
I don't want to be one of those people. I don't believe that you do, either.